State laws differ regarding how long an insurance company has to acknowledge your claim and/or settle with you either by getting your vehicle repaired or paying out for a total loss.
In many states there is no set time limit for the loss claims adjuster to contact you and start the claims process or contact you with an offer regarding the value of your vehicle. Most states just say it should be in a reasonable amount of time.
For instance in Florida, though there is no state statute however the Department of Insurance feels that seven to ten working days is ample time for an insurance company to inspect a damage car and authorize a rental car. And though there is not a specific time limit to which the company must come to a settlement agreement with an insured, once the company has agreed in writing upon an amount, the company must pay within 20 days or pay interest this amount.
The state of Texas has a number of regulations regarding auto insurance claims and they are listed in the TX Insurance Bill of Rights. These rights are in place to aid you as an insurance consumer. One such regulation is that you be treated fairly when making a claim and have the right to have prompt payment of claims once they have been reported.
The Texas Department of Insurance suggests that if you report a claim by phone to follow up in writing so that you protect your rights under the TX prompt payment of claims law. This law sets guidelines such as:
- The company must respond within 15 days after receiving your claim in writing.
- After you submit any requested documentation, the company has 15 days to accept or reject your claim.
- Once the company agrees to pay your claim, it must send a draft or check within 5 business days. A company that cannot meet the above deadline must send you a written notice explaining why.
- However, the Texas' prompt payment of claims law does not apply if another driver's insurance company is paying for your accident. The company is required to act in utmost good faith and make a prompt and fair settlement.
If you have not heard from the claims adjuster within a week we would advise you to you to call and check in to see when they are planning to view your car or send it to a repair shop to get an estimate on the repairs.
If the insurance company continues to take their time for the claims adjuster to contact you about your vehicle that needs repaired you can contact your states insurance regulatory body.This state agency should be able to tell you what state has laws say about how long an insurance company can take to respond to your claim and view your vehicle so that your car can be repaired or found to be a total loss.There also may be laws regarding the time period the insurer has to settle a claim and/or advise you of the value of your vehicle if it is a total loss.
If your state only says an car insurance company must work within a reasonable amount of time then the insurance regulator for your state should be able to tell you what they consider a reasonable amount of time and when you should make a complaint if your claim is taking what you deem to be a long period to be processed and settled.